Uniting orphaned children with their forever family is Rebecca Cruttenden’s mission. With the help of some amazing volunteers and some really great cookies, she is making big strides.
An adoptive mother of 3, Rebecca founded Team Orphans in 2010. Team Orphans raises money for adoption grants for international kids with special needs. Her lifetime goal is 1 million dollars.
Rebecca’s fundraising includes doing an Ironman triathlon each year to raise $25,000 for another adoption. An Ironman is no easy feat. Hours and miles of training are required, making proper nutrition essential. Looking for better options than what was on the market, Rebecca created an easy to digest, high-protein peanut butter chocolate chip cookie. The invention of her cookie led Rebecca to the next chapter in her mission, Clara Cookies.
A successful Go Fund Me campaign raised the necessary start-up costs, and through Facebook, the first eight volunteer bakers were recruited. The cookies became a hit and the menu eventually expanded to 5 additional gluten-free flavors; Coconut Dark Chocolate Chip, Dark Chocolate with Roasted Almonds, Orange Cranberry, Lemon Poppy Seed, and Snickerdoodle. On each cookie pouch, you will see a picture of Clara, a little girl from Bulgaria, who was adopted in 2013 with a Team Orphans grant.
The ongoing success of Clara Cookies is not only Rebecca’s hard work and dedication, but many thanks to 300 volunteers annually. To date they’ve baked, packaged, labeled, and sold nearly 100,000 cookies. Among those volunteers are retired schoolteachers, mothers who bake while their kids are at school, and two hardworking sisters who get their home school assignments done early so they can come help.
The kitchen was temporarily closed due to COVID19, but the closure gave Rebecca another opportunity to help out. She donated her remaining stock of over 1,000 cookies to organizations providing lunches for under-served children. Rebecca recently announced they are back and ready to bake. Visit the website to place an order. We highly recommend the combo pack!
If you would like to get involved, there are a number of ways to show your support. If you live in Michigan and are looking to get out for some social distancing fun, sign up for the Team Orphan Social Distance 5K . The race will be held on June 13th at Robinette’s Apple Haus in Grand Rapids. With staggered start times, everyone will have plenty of distance to get their miles in safely. If you need a little motivation, there is a delicious cookie at the finish line with your name on it.
Check out the 70.3 exercise challenge. Make a donation to Team Orphans and log your walking, running, biking or swimming miles during 2020. When you reach the goal of 70.3 miles, you will receive a Team Orphans tech shirt and a team Orphans medal. There are 6 months left in the year, so you still have plenty of time to sign up and complete the miles.
Do you like cookies? Donate $70.30 to Team Orphans. Your name will be added to their website AND you will receive the new mystery flavor Clara Cookie! You will also have exclusive access to a link where you can purchase the mystery flavor before it becomes available to the public.